The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is easily one of the most ambitious games Nintendo has ever created, affording the player an incredible degree of freedom within a massive game world.
However, getting to this level of scope and scale wasn't an easy process, and director Hidemaro Fujibayashi has been speaking to Kotaku about how he and his team convinced their superiors that such a concept could work.
The game evolved a lot in the very early days, and Fujibayashi reveals that when the prototype was first shown to Shigeru Miyamoto - the creator of the series - he spent an inordinate amount of time simply climbing up and down trees:
We put rupees at the top of the tree to let them know that this is something we're taking into account, but I didn't tell them. All I did was say, 'Here, play the game.' So the first thing [Miyamoto] did was start climbing, and he climbed the tree, and once he was able to do that and see that he can go anywhere within this small field, he got how this game will play out and that's how I presented it to him.
When we first presented this to Mr. Miyamoto, he spent about an hour just climbing trees. We left little treats like rupees on the trees, but we also left other things in other places we thought he might go. But he just kept climbing trees. Up and down. And so we got to the point where we go, 'Do you want to look at other stuff?' But he just kept on going. Once [he] got out of the Shrine of Resurrection, he spent an hour just within a 25-50 meter radius outside of that cave just climbing trees.
Miyamoto has stated several times in the past that the original Zelda was inspired by his childhood explorations of locations near his home, so it's nice to see that he hasn't lost that inquistive streak even though he's now in his sixties.